Irom Sharmila, who ended her 16-year-long fast yesterday, is struggling to find a shelter in Manipur. The 44-year-old activist had announced that she will try a different approach to fight Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) by contesting elections in Manipur polls.
After breaking her fast on Tuesday outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal, she went to two places to seek shelter. According to a report published in The Hindu, none of her supporters came forward to give her shelter after her release on bail. She was turned away by those who claimed to believe in her protest against AFSPA. Finally, police brought her back to the Imphal police station and later sent her to the hospital. Sharmila, who chose to end her fast is now finding it difficult to lead a normal life as her own friends have turned their back to her.
Her decision to end her fast and contest elections did not go well with the people of Manipur. Many organizations such as Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), a Meitei revolutionary group and Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) an ultra-leftist party urged her to continue fasting until AFSPA is not repealed from the territories of the northeastern state.
Her decision is being constantly questioned as people of Manipur have lost their faith in politics. That is why Sharmila’s decision came as a shock for people of Manipur for whom she was a symbol of struggle against the draconian law.
Irom Sharmila, who also intends to marry her fiancé, a British national of Indian origin, is getting death threats from many insurgent groups in Manipur. Her decision to marry outside her community hasn’t gone well with many.